Shop Small this weekend at Montana Avenue's Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday takes place this Saturday November 29, 2014, two days after Thanksgiving and is dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Created by American Express in 2010 by American Express, the event is now in its 5th year. 

Montana’s Avenue’s Small Business Saturday event takes place from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from 6th street to 17th street this Saturday.

Local shopping provides jobs for local residents, it keeps money circulating in the local economy, increases diversity and ultimately helps the city retain a sense of identity if the face of increasing homogenization.  

Jane Walker, founder of TEXTURE: A Sweater Store & More is one of the shop owners who helped make this event happen. “People can stroll, enjoy the day and start their holiday shopping, but without all the frenzied madness of a Black Friday,” said Walker. “With music on every block and special promotions all along the Avenue, everyone enjoys the experience." TEXTURE: A Sweater Store & More is located at 716 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA; (310) 393-0707; See FB page.

Ten Women is another popular hotspot on Montana Ave. An artist collective, which features the art of 24 women and talented artists.

Here one can find original gifts for that special loved one. One such artist, Linda Fenster features mosaic art such as "Cinderellie's Get Away Dress" a costume jewelry and bead dress, created completely out of mosaic tiles with Scrabble letters spelling out, "HAPPINESS.” Also for sale are Fenster's signature beaded functional office telephones and a dreaming mermaid themed treasure.

The charming shop is filled with beautiful work of this Ten Women Gallery co-operative located at 1128 Montana Ave., in Santa Monica; 310-393 6254;  www.tenwomengallery.com

In addition to the incredible shopping at Saturday’s event, local bands are scheduled to perform up and down the street.

Kat & the Jazz Birds will be performing from 12:00pm to 4:00 pm just outside L'Occitane located at 1301 Montana Ave; (310) 393-7040; http://usa.loccitane.com/

Singer, Kathy Leonardo has been performing for the past thirty years and currently fronts five bands (jazz, blues, country, originals, and holiday music). Her musical career began in her teens when she worked as an actor/singer/dancer in NY’s stage shows. She has toured extensively both internationally and in the US, performing in national touring companies and on Broadway. She has performed in original musical stage productions by famed Broadway composers Charles Strouse (Annie) Liz Swados (Runaways), etc. She also toured in the revival of the national production of “Stop the World, I Want to Get off” with renowned actor/singer/composer Anthony Newley. 

In addition to singing and dancing across the world, she is a prolific songwriter/composer in her own right. She plays guitar and has worked as a stand up comedian. She is the consummate performer…an animated front singer for all of her bands. She has worked in both film and TV (Cosby, Ground Floor. Etc). Leonardo has produced two CDs featuring all original music (available on Itunes, CD Baby, etc.) and continues to perform across the country with several of her bands. Being trained in opera and having a Broadway background has only added to her well-rounded stage presence. Standing 4’11”, Leonardo has become known as the blues dynamo with the big voice.

Kat & the Jazz Birds features Kathy Leonardo (vocals), Bob Crickmore, (keys), Albert Rappopot (sax), Mike Flick (Stand-up Bass), and Mitch Montrose (drums). For more info about Kat & the Jazz Birds and her other bands at KathyLeonardo.com

Greg Cruz will also be playing at the Montana Ave Small Business Saturday event as a duo version of his own band The Venice Street Legends, which also includes Petr Hromadko. Forged in the streets of Venice Beach, these passionate troubadours know that music is life and life is music.

Busking long hours exclusively on the Venice Boardwalk, they have become legendary for their dedication and sheer will of instilling their brand. Cruz is a versatile performer, playing and singing many genres. Having cut his chops in Venice as well as booking gigs such as the House of blues where he was a fixture at the Porch Restaurant Lunch hour weekdays for years.

The Venice Street Legends will be performing popular blues melodies and some country too. The band will be located in the middle of the block in front of Browns Cleaners 1223 Montana from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. http://www.reverbnation.com/venicestreetlegends

Guitarist, Michael Jost will perform Flamenco and classical music from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm in front of Kiehl’s located at 1516 Montana Ave.

Michael's music is a journey in time & space fueled by his passion for music & his instrument. His main instrument is the guitar with all the different colors & emotions. Michael's influences are very multicolored & involve different styles, continents and time periods. Live or on in the studio... Expect to be surprised. http://www.reverbnation.com/michaeljost

Don’t miss the Montana Avenue Small Business Saturday event featuring a variety of eclectic small businesses and live music from 6th to 17th. For more info, see http://montanaave.com/

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